“Dreams, Visions, and Fantasies”
Faythe Vollrath, harpsichord and UC Davis lecturer in music
Katherine Kaiser, soprano
Appearing in different ways, dreams, visions, and fantasies all materialize as illusions of the mind. Sometimes delightful, and sometimes disturbing, these illusions provide insight into inner desires and provide composers license to flaunt musical conventions and compose with inventive forms and ideas. This concert will feature music full of mind-bending forms, dreamy sound worlds, and fantastic texts. Giles Farnaby’s “Dreame” perceives what the composer views in his sleep. Henry Purcell’s “Blessed Virgin’s Expostulations” demands the return of the angel Gabriel, first seen as a vision by Mary in her early years.
Giles Farnaby: Giles Farnaby’s Dreame
Henry Purcell: Bess of Bedlam and Blessed Virgin’s Expostulations
Barbara Strozzi: Celli, stelle
Girolamo Frescobaldi: Se l’aura spira tutta vezzosa
Giovanni Battista Draghi: “Where Art Thou of God of Dreams”
Free, a Shinkoskey Noon Concert
About the Program and Artists
In the hands of early Baroque composers even madness itself becomes an excuse to explore vision and fantasy, as in Purcell’s Bess of Bedlam, which matches Bess’s imaginings with radical shifts in musical ideas to match. Barbara Strozzi’s Celli, stelle fantasizes about a beloved, sonically painting her with images of the heavens and riches of far off lands. Draghi’s Where Art Thou of God of Dreams calls upon Morpheus to provide dreams to all.
Katherine Kaiser, soprano, is an active chamber musician and soloist. Praised by the Boston Globe for the “taut intensity” of her performance of Luigi Rossi’s Pianto della Maddalena, she is inspired by the drama and improvisatory character of the early Baroque. She has performed 17th-century solo cantatas at the Boston Early Music Festival, on Long Island, and in New York City. She gave the American premiere of works by Italian composer and singer Marc’Antonio Pasqualini at the Society for Seventeenth-Century Music with harpsichordist Arthur Haas. Katherine appeared as Nerone in Poppea and in the title role in Cavalli’s Giasone at the Queens Opera Workshop. She has concertized with Arioso Furioso and The New York Continuo Collective in New York, and given masterclasses and concerts with the trio Night’s Black Bird (nightsblackbird.org) throughout the Northeast. She is a member of and occasional soloist with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and has appeared as soloist and ensemble member in Handel’s Messiah with Interrupted Silence. Katherine teaches at Muhlenberg College.
Faythe Vollrath, harpsichordist, is actively heard as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States. Hailed by the Wall Street Journal for her “subtly varied tempo and rhythm that sounds like breathing,” her solo performances include venues such as MusicSources in Berkeley, CA, Gotham Early Music in New York City, and Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. Other unique experiences include a solo performance pairing Japanese harpsichord works with Japanese art at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA, and performing in a columbarium as part of the Garden of Memory in Oakland, CA. Enamored with the contrast of new music written for historic instruments, Faythe combines these new vs. old elements in many of her performances. Concerts dedicated specifically to this pursuit include the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, CA, and the Center for New Music in San Francisco, CA. She has performed concerts of new music in both Serbia and France, introducing new American composers to the audience.